NPR

Rating Title | Year Quote Author
1 88%

Calvary (2014)

"Calvary is bleak and corrosively funny in about equal measure."

Posted Aug 1, 2014

Bob Mondello

2 48%

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)

"Because they put the pedal to the metal and go full, screaming, bedazzled monkeypants crazy from beginning to end, it sort of works."

Posted Jul 31, 2014

Linda Holmes

3 91%

The Honorable Woman: Season 1 (TV, 2014-2015)

" Politically, The Honorable Woman doesn't take sides - it comes at you from all sides. And all sides are given motivations and conflicts, which makes this miniseries both a rare and a rewarding viewing experience. "

Posted Jul 31, 2014

David Bianculli

4 40%

War Story (2014)

"In Keener's hands, the collapse feels urgent but not unhinged, and Lee's trajectory from steely and determined to openly distraught lends an otherwise meandering film a strong core."

Posted Jul 31, 2014

Tomas Hachard

5 38%

Child Of God (2014)

"It's hard to see past the lurid details of the Tennessee tale, adapted from Cormac McCarthy's 1973 exercise in backwoods noir."

Posted Jul 31, 2014

Mark Jenkins

6 92%

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

"There's plenty of heart in Guardians, but it gets its emotional heft largely from the warmth that this kind of comedy inherently contains."

Posted Jul 31, 2014

Linda Holmes

7 61%

Lucy (2014)

"Lucy is a welcome reminder of just how much Besson's wry sensibility as a filmmaker adds to movies like this."

Posted Jul 25, 2014

Chris Klimek

8 100%

The Endless Summer (1966)

"Part surfing film, part travelogue, occasionally even anthropological study and wildlife film, ultimately it visually taps into the wanderlust that sends us to far-flung beaches in search of an escape from life that we can't find at home."

Posted Jul 25, 2014

Ian Buckwalter

9 79%

Happy Christmas (2014)

"Unfortunately, Happy Christmas's characters and conflicts are generic compared to Drinking Buddies."

Posted Jul 24, 2014

Tomas Hachard

10 90%

A Most Wanted Man (2014)

"A Most Wanted Man retains a cogent narrative and le Carre's weary outlook. Rather than choke the narrative with details, the filmmakers keep the story lean while adding evocative visual and aural details."

Posted Jul 24, 2014

Mark Jenkins

11 100%

The Whole Gritty City ()

"We return to this scene at the end of the documentary. By then, we know a lot more about these local bands, and how much music means to the kids, and how they even inspire each other."

Posted Jul 18, 2014

David Bianculli

12 40%

Wish I Was Here (2014)

"Wish I Was Here's philosophical scope never gets much bigger than the slip of paper inside a fortune cookie."

Posted Jul 18, 2014

Ian Buckwalter

13 60%

Mood Indigo (2014)

"Mood Indigo thrives on clutter and near-total loss of control."

Posted Jul 17, 2014

Tomas Hachard

14 47%

I Origins (2014)

"If the film's plot is loonier than a mainstream movie would dare, the essential trajectory is one of Hollywood's favorites: from skepticism to faith."

Posted Jul 17, 2014

Mark Jenkins

15 87%

The Strain: Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" Del Toro's love of special effects and genuine scares, and his delight in mixing humor and horror, run throughout The Strain. "

Posted Jul 14, 2014

David Bianculli

16 99%

Boyhood (2014)

"The film gives every appearance of happening exactly the way life does, And exactly the way life does, it makes you care."

Posted Jul 11, 2014

Bob Mondello

17 76%

Land Ho! (2014)

"Land Ho! walks and talks like a hand-held indie, except that it keeps making these funny skips into horror comedy and the musical."

Posted Jul 10, 2014

Ella Taylor

18 91%

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)

"It's the first big tent-pole film of 2014 that nails everything from start to finish, blending thoughtful allegory, meaningful science fiction and dazzling action spectacle without a hitch."

Posted Jul 10, 2014

Ian Buckwalter

19 92%

Closed Curtain (2014)

"Closed Curtain can be seen to express something more than the plight of one artist in internal exile. That house on the Caspian, a home that's also a prison, represents an entire country in spiritual incarceration."

Posted Jul 10, 2014

Mark Jenkins

20 83%

The Empty Hours (2014)

"Eventually you begin to wonder what these series of standstill moments represent."

Posted Jul 10, 2014

Tomas Hachard

21 25%

Tammy (2014)

"Eventually the film does manage to find its own awkward way, with enough effective and less desperate jokes to smooth things over after the rocky start."

Posted Jul 3, 2014

Ian Buckwalter

22 31%

Deliver Us from Evil (2014)

"It's time for Derrickson, who also directed The Exorcism of Emily Rose, to master a new ritual."

Posted Jul 3, 2014

Mark Jenkins

23 68%

Me and You (2014)

"Mostly what's missing in Me and You, what drains it of insight and resonance, is a sense of the world outside of Lorenzo's apartment building."

Posted Jul 3, 2014

Tomas Hachard

24 68%

Beyond the Edge (2014)

"Recalled in the somewhat breathless History Channel-style voice-overs of the participants and their families, the journey was a triumph of guts, perseverance, endurance, ingenuity and teamwork."

Posted Jul 3, 2014

Ella Taylor

25 68%

They Came Together (2014)

"The problem with They Came Together is that what it settles on as the parody-able thing about romantic comedy is how generic it can feel."

Posted Jun 27, 2014

Linda Holmes

26 57%

Tyrant: Season 1 (TV, 2014)

" [The] viewers get a family soap opera masquerading as something more; a gritty fairy tale in which the Americanized characters are the most virtuous and figures regularly act in ways that make little sense beyond furthering the story. "

Posted Jun 26, 2014

Eric Deggans

27 77%

Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger (2014)

"Bulger remains frustratingly opaque."

Posted Jun 26, 2014

Ella Taylor

28 70%

Nothing Bad Can Happen (2014)

"Its world is so remote, its characters behavior so unexplained - despite the fact that the film is based on true events - that our connection to the story slackens significantly over time."

Posted Jun 26, 2014

Tomas Hachard

29 95%

Snowpiercer (2014)

"This is exactly the sort of ambitious, audacious, and uncompromising filmmaking that deserves to be seen."

Posted Jun 26, 2014

Ian Buckwalter

30 82%

Begin Again (2014)

"Both laughable and sweet."

Posted Jun 26, 2014

Mark Jenkins

31 56%

Five Dances (2013)

"A lovingly shot valentine to work and body and art, and a generous, ultimately happy little story of a lost boy finding a community and a kindred soul."

Posted Jun 24, 2014

Trey Graham

32 91%

Venus in Fur (2014)

"Roman Polanski's been making films about psycho-sexual mind games for decades, and when his opening shot poses his stage director next to a very phallic cactus, you know he's at it again."

Posted Jun 20, 2014

Bob Mondello

33 54%

Jersey Boys (2014)

""Eastwood's got a feel for music (he composed the scores for most of his recent films). But he doesn't have a particular flair for musical staging.""

Posted Jun 20, 2014

Bob Mondello

34 24%

Third Person (2014)

"If the film didn't take its own intended profundity so seriously, it might get a pass."

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Ian Buckwalter

35 91%

Norte, the End of History (2014)

"Norte is formidable cinema that doesn't shy away from exploring history, philosophy, politics and religion at length. But it's also a story of three individuals, through whom these topics gain sharper focus."

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Tomas Hachard

36 75%

The Last Sentence (2014)

"A richly detailed portrait of a great man riddled with flaws and undone by adulation."

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Ella Taylor

37 54%

Jersey Boys (2014)

"Engagingly lively, if not always graceful, and often surprisingly comic."

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Mark Jenkins

38 84%

22 Jump Street (2014)

"Filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller (who are themselves impressive partners at this point) know enough not to mess with a successful formula. "

Posted Jun 13, 2014

Bob Mondello

39 92%

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

"It's clear that [director Dean DeBlois] took inspiration from the first Star Wars trilogy - not a bad model for breathing new life, and yes, a bit of fire, into one of Hollywood's more nuanced animated franchises."

Posted Jun 13, 2014

Bob Mondello

40 100%

Burning Bush (2014)

"Elegantly scripted with an edge of biting gallows humor by Stepan Hulik, Burning Bush blends an intimate domestic drama with a thrilling Cold War procedural ..."

Posted Jun 12, 2014

Ella Taylor

41 85%

Manuscripts Don't Burn (2014)

"Manuscripts Don't Burn is more rueful than action-packed, yet it simmers with righteous refusal. That's what gives the movie a power no Bourne flick will ever match."

Posted Jun 12, 2014

Mark Jenkins

42 60%

Hellion (2014)

"Candler insistently tightens her focus on the hardships of growing up in a broken family, an approach that eventually feels over-determined."

Posted Jun 12, 2014

Tomas Hachard

43 84%

22 Jump Street (2014)

"What separates 22 Jump Street from sequel mediocrity is that everyone's in on the joke."

Posted Jun 12, 2014

Ian Buckwalter

44 97%

Orange is the New Black: Season 2 (TV, 2014)

" I suggest heartily binge-watching the 13-episode second season that Netflix released online this morning. There might be no better examination of what it means to be lonely and trapped in the fallout of a hard life on television today. "

Posted Jun 9, 2014

Eric Deggans

45 76%

Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (2014)

"Not that 'Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon' is likely to do the kind of business most Myers movies do ... but it's competent enough to suggest the filmmaker has more arrows in his quiver than 'yeah, baby.'"

Posted Jun 6, 2014

Bob Mondello

46 88%

Test (2014)

"If Test can portray a dark time with an underlying sense of hope for the future, it's because almost thirty years later, looking back at 1985, it has no ambivalence about the progress that's occurred since."

Posted Jun 5, 2014

Tomas Hachard

47 54%

Ping Pong Summer (2014)

"A sometimes-intriguing experiment in upended expectations, though not a particularly successful one."

Posted Jun 5, 2014

Tomas Hachard

48 80%

The Fault In Our Stars (2014)

"The kind of careful, listless adaptation that makes a critic want to rave at length about the wonderful novel on which it's based."

Posted Jun 5, 2014

Ella Taylor

49 90%

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

"Refreshing and unexpected, both for its humor and for its upending of action norms."

Posted Jun 5, 2014

Ian Buckwalter

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